First-Time Winner Highlight: Sebastian Baez

Sebastian Baez has been steadily rising up the ATP Rankings over the previous yr, and on Sunday he reached a brand new profession milestone by successful his first ATP Tour title on the Millennium Estoril Open.

The 21-year-old Argentine first broke into the High 100 final November, when he additionally competed within the Intesa Sanpaolo Subsequent Gen ATP Finals, and he’s now a member of the highest 40 following his victory over Frances Tiafoe within the Estoril ultimate. A six-time champion on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2021, Baez made his tour-level breakthrough in his second ultimate. He additionally reached the title match in Santiago in February. sat down with the Buenos Aires native after his run in Estoril to search out out extra about his life on Tour, on and off the courtroom.

What does it imply to win your first ATP Tour title? It has been a tremendous yr. After all of the success on the ATP Challenger Tour final yr, you reached your first ATP Tour ultimate this yr, and steadily progressed to your first trophy.
It has been yr. The final yr was so good, too, for the Challengers, for the finals, for the Subsequent Gen [Finals]. Plenty of issues… the primary draw this yr in Australia. Each time I attempt to be higher, to go step-by-step. I hope that is the beginning of one thing good.

Right now final yr, you had been outdoors the highest 200. Now you might be closing in on the highest 40 as an ATP Tour titlist. How completely satisfied are you together with your progress over the previous 12 months to achieve this level?
I’m so completely satisfied, so pleased with myself. I’m additionally pleased with my workforce and my coach as a result of we labored rather a lot final yr and since we met for the very first time. We had a special connection, probably the most particular I’ve ever had. It means rather a lot to me. This trophy is a pleasant compensation for all of the job and an awesome motivation to go for extra.

You have got had begin to the season after competing on the Intesa Sanpaolo Subsequent Gen ATP Finals in November. How essential was that occasion on your improvement?
That event was essential to me as a result of I started to play at a excessive degree with gamers like Alcaraz and one of the best teenage tennis gamers on the earth. That meant one other compensation after a tricky yr. I labored rather a lot to be there. I performed Challengers, the matches had been very troublesome. The rankings had been frozen and breaking into the High 100 was very exhausting. So Milan was begin and one thing completely different for me.

You have got a robust relationship together with your coach Sebastian Gutierrez. Are you able to speak just a little bit about your journey and improvement with him, having joined forces on the Argentine Tennis Affiliation’s Division of Improvement?
We began working in 2015 in an ITF Futures in Brazil. It was the primary time we met, and from then till now, it has been an awesome relationship, an awesome connection, one thing completely different on Tour. I feel in tennis it’s troublesome to discover a good particular person and an awesome skilled as a coach. So I’m very proud to have employed him and to have him in my life. I hope to have extra time with him and, why not, end my profession with him.

Might you’re taking a second to acknowledge among the key figures in your life and profession who’ve helped you to achieve this milestone?
My household, my workforce, my pals, many individuals… it is for all of them. It’s not possible to be an awesome participant with out each one who has helped you alongside the best way. You must be supported by your loved ones, your workforce, your folks. I’m proud to have one of the best folks by my facet.

How would you describe your self off the courtroom? Does your on-court ‘calm’ lengthen off the tennis courtroom as effectively? 
It’s not possible to be participant in case you are not particular person. I perceive it that manner as a result of my coach believes it, and I’ve realized it from him. That’s the path I made a decision to take.

What do you contemplate to be your largest ardour outdoors of tennis? Are you able to inform us just a little bit about that curiosity?
It is exhausting to say as a result of I like music, watching films, enjoying video video games… however I like enjoying tennis, travelling the world, and spending time with my folks. It is exhausting to resolve only one factor. However one of the best factor for me is to attempt to benefit from the small particulars.

It is a milestone second in your profession. How will you have a good time this victory?
We’re considering. I need to give it some thought with my workforce, however I hope we have a good time tonight. That is the plan.


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